Snowy Saturday Night Open Thread

Mailbag: The Post-Collapse Red Sox
Yankees exercise 2012 options for Cano, Swisher

Snow in New York usually isn’t anything to write home about, but damn, it’s still October! There’s not much accumulation on the ground here in NYC, but it’s still snow on the ground in October. The baseball season really does disappear earlier and earlier each year.

Anyway, here is your open thread for the night. There’s college football on all over the place, plus the Devils and Islanders are playing. You can talk about anything you want here, but in an effort to make these a little more interesting, here’s a discussion topic: what has been Brian Cashman‘s biggest failure as GM of the Yankees?

Mailbag: The Post-Collapse Red Sox
Yankees exercise 2012 options for Cano, Swisher
  • mbonzo

    Free agent contracts like Igawa’s and Pavano’s really had no impact on their ability to spend money (I’m assuming Igawa’s misery doesn’t affect their outlook on Darvish), so I don’t think its fair to characterize those as his biggest mistakes.

    His biggest mistakes really happened in his first few years, where perhaps under pressure, he traded away prospects that really developed. Guys like Nick Johnson and Mike Lowell could have been stars in New York, or at least helped acquire better players through trades. On the contrary, Cashman more recently has held on too tight to his prospects, guys like Hughes, Joba, and Kennedy were incorrectly developed. You could argue Kennedy was traded at his lowest value, while Joba and Hughes are currently at theres. These players could have gotten a lot of value in the trade market at a point. Cashman seemed to move from trading away the farm, to being a prospect hugger. He ended up pulling the trigger on Jackson and Kennedy, one of which was at his trade-chip height, and hopefully that’ll be a lesson to our GM. His biggest failure has been through trading the farm system, he has a very low success rate in trading his big chips, he needs to find a median between the two extremes he’s shown in his career.

    • Rey22

      More value for Kennedy? He was part of the package for Curtis Granderson. I’d say that trade worked out pretty well for the Yankees, no?

      • MannyGeee

        Coulda got Ty Cobb for him at his ‘prospect peak’…

      • mbonzo

        The deal for Granderson was good because he sold Jackson at his peak, which I mentioned, but he also sold Kennedy at his lowest trade value. I’m not criticizing the deal, but its another instance of selling low.

  • Plank

    Not signing Beltran before the 2005 season is his biggest blunder in my opinion. The Yankees wanted to shore up their pitching so they traded for Randy Johnson, but if they had exchanged Williams for Beltran that offseason, their pitching would have vastly improved. I truly believe they would have won at least one more championship if they had made that move.

    • Steve in PDX

      I apologize for being too lazy to get a link for this, but I’m pretty sure Cash preferred Beltran over Damon, and Steinbrenner overrode him.

      • Plank

        The reason you aren’t providing a link is because Damon wasn’t available. He was in the middle of his Red Sox contract.

        The Yankees traded for Johnson and that put them up against their spending limit that offseason. Beltran soon after had the deal with the Mets but then went to the Yankees and offered them a big discount. The Yankees couldn’t do it because they already signed RJ.

        Johnny Damon had nothing to do with it.

        • jonathan c.

          He might be thinking of when Cashman (supposedly) preferred Vlad to Sheffield but was (supposedly) overruled.

          • Plank

            That offseason (and for a few years prior), there was a whole thing about how Vlad didn’t want to play in a big market. I think Torre said after the Sheffield era that he preferred Vlad. I don’t know about Cash’s view. I definitely wouldn’t count Sheffield as anything but a success.

  • james

    I’d say cashmans biggest failure was not signing manny the year he was a free agent. I would have taken him over mussina. Redsox won two world series with that bat in the lineup. We should have figured out a way to get manny over here.

    • mbonzo

      I think Mussina had more value to the Yankees than Ramirez would have had. Even with Mussina, the Yanks problem after 2000 was always with starting pitching, not with the offense.

  • Maxy93ITA

    I think Javy Vazquez, Carl Pavano and Kei Igawa

  • Mike Axisa

    I think it’s the inability to build any kind of continuity with the rotation. Not saying it has to be the same five guys every year, but they shouldn’t have to be looking for two starters every offseason.

    • Plank

      In the real world, what would that have looked like? What players did he not sign that he could have or what players did he not draft or develop that he should have?

    • MannyGeee

      Yeah, last time he did that he got CC/AJ with mixed results… The time before that he got Pavano and Wright… That, um, didn’t pan out.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      Very well said Mike. Of course it’s not going to be perfect and everyone is always looking for starters but the Yankees need to reach a point when the rotation is stable. It can’t be looking under every rock for a warm body because there are no other options. Hopefully Nova continues to take steps forward and they sign or trade for a pitcher this yr or next.

  • Brian S.

    Using hindsight it has to be the decision to trade Vizcaino and Melky for Javier Vazquez. Melky has turned into a 4 win player, Vizcaino is one of the most talented arms in the minors, and we could have used Joba Chamberlain in the rotation in 2010 and again this year.

    • Brian S.

      Plus we could have used the ten million dollars that season that we spent on Vazquez for whoever needed to take on the ever important “eighth inning”

    • The Big City of Dreams

      we could have used Joba Chamberlain in the rotation in 2010 and again this year.


      Still pissed about that.

  • GT Yankee

    I’m giving a pass on Igawa because he was posted after Dice-K and I believe there was a bit of a “save face” mentality. In my mind there is no question it was Pavano. He was coming off of a very good season where he was 18-8 but really staggered home at the end of that year so the record is/was deceiving. Prior to that he was 45-60 lifetime with one decent season in his prior 8 years and was entering his 29th year when the Yanks signed him. I lived in South Florida at the time and hoped against hope that it wouldn’t happen. I’m just glad we didn’t have “Pavano 2” on our hands this year with Jimenez. Same deal, one really good season. Please let those who will retort with how young he is enter the room. But honestly, even straight up would rather now have he or Montero? Somebody got lucky here.

  • Brian S.

    Also, knowing how Joba and Hughes have turned out makes me wish that we actually had traded them for Roy Halladay (that was actually a legit trade rumor right?)

  • Improvident Lackwit

    Biggest Cashman mistakes were signing Kei Igawa and trading for Javier Vasquez twice.

    • MannyGeee

      In hindsight, yes… But BOTH times I talked myself into it. And he was STRAIGHT FIRE in his first 1/2 of 2004. Like, borderline ace good. and all it cost us was Nick Johnson!

      And then it all went to shit.

  • Januz

    Biggest story today, has to be Penn State over 10-7 Illinois. With 3 extremely difficult games left in the regular reason (Ohio St, Nebraska, & Wisconsin), plus a Bowl Game against a possible superior team (Probably against an SEC or Big XII team (Maybe Kansas State in the Alamo Bowl, because seeing Joe Paterno vs Bill Synder would be a guaranteed sellout)), there was no certainity that Joe Paterno was going to get win # 409, and break the tie with Eddie Robinson this year if ever. Oddity: If this is his last victory (And as a Nitt fan I hope not), his final victory will be against the same team that Bear Bryant beat for his last game: Illinois.

  • Pants Lendelton

    Hindsight is a bitch aint it ? In all honesty its either been the fact that Cashman has either acquired a player too early or acquired a player to late.

    I’d say the biggest mistake was Feliciano … Anybody with access to the internet could’ve looked up his pitch data and told him that he was a serious injury risk.

    Every other move is debatable but there is no excuse for that one… And I’m dating back alllllll the way to 98 too.

    • Nightwing

      Oh? I thought you would have said letting Pants Lendelton get away.

  • mbonzo

    Indians exercise Carmona’s option, decline Sizemore’s… the exact opposite of what I’d do. One healthy Grady Sizemore in Yankee Stadium right field please.

    • Brian S.

      He’s definitely worth a bench spot but I think he will get offered a starting job somewhere else.

      • mbonzo

        Having him is unrealistic, but people get traded and injured all the time. He’d be very interesting in Yankee Stadium.

    • Rey22

      If he was one “healthy” Grady Sizemore the Indians would not have let him go in the first place. If the team that drafted and developed him is letting him go, I think it speaks volume on his current health and his outlook.

  • Jay Kap

    If it was Cashman’s choice and not Steinbrenners to choose a Right Fielder in 2003 going into 2004…

    I think the biggest mistake was signing Sheffield over Vlad Guerrero…

    Guerrero had batted over .320 with an average of 33 Home Runs while playing for Montreal with one of the best arms in the game.

    Guerrero is probably the most impatient hitter we’ve ever seen, but being 7 years younger and a better fielder than Sheffield, Can we imagine how many guys he would’ve prevented from reaching second or how many runners he would’ve thrown out?

    I really thought at 13 years old Vlad was going to be a Yankee for sure.

    • Plank

      Vlad was definitely superior to Sheffield, but Sheffield was great. I don’t think that would even be in the top 10 mistakes Cashman made.

      • MannyGeee

        Wasn’t his mistake to make. That was a King George Special, if memory serves…

  • Nightwing

    What would you guys think of signing Hairston Jr. for the bench?

    • Plank

      I think he would rather go somewhere where he would get more playing time. I also think signing him now is like playing hot potato because of his age. He’s getting old.

      I don’t think it’s a match for either side. However, if the Yankees signed him, I would be okay with it.

    • Brian S.

      I wouldn’t mind. I also wouldn’t mind Ramon Santiago as a backup MIF if they aren’t content with Nunez (which I am).

    • MannyGeee

      Nah, I love me some hairston, but stay the course with Nunez. He’s proven useful in his SSS career.

  • well you know

    The biggest failing has been the failure to reimagine the offense since the ’09 team, both to make up for parts that were let go and the parts that would decline with age.

    The Yanks have lost seven postseason games in the last two years. In those seven games, they scored a total of 15 runs. Two runs a game isn’t flukey or unlucky. It’s flawed. And boring.

    The fifth game of the ALDS had barely finished when Cashman was insisting the offense was a strength (“despite what you just saw”) and didn’t have to be changed for 2012. No one even asked him a direct question about it; it’s just become part of his reportoire. Same thing he said at the trade deadline in almost the same words. If the offense were actually a strength (that is, strong enough to win a WS) he wouldn’t have to keep insisting that it is.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      The upgrade from Jorge to Montero will be grand.

      • well you know

        I enjoyed watching Montero very much in September and have high hopes. But I think he needs more help.

    • Plank

      Did you just cite runs per game in losses in a 7 game sample as an example to support your case? Wow!

      • well you know

        The Yankees are about the postseason (or should be) so I think it’s a fair point. Everything gets concentrated in a way that makes the sample more significant than seven games during the regular season.

        If you would like larger sample numbers, for the full season, the ’09 team had one starter with an OPS+ below 118. The ’11 team had four starters with OPS+ between 87-97. I’ll stop there before I get into writing a treatise.

        • Plank

          Not only that. Their runs per game in losing shutouts under Cashman is zero point zero(!!!)

          How can Cashman live with himself?

          Also, the A’s and Astro’s haven’t even lost any postseason games since 2009 and they reenvision their offense seemingly every offseason. Now that’s offense!

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Doesn’t nullify the argument but keep acting like you did.

        • Plank

          I read your post like 20 times. I don’t understand.

    • thenamestsam

      In 2010 the Rangers lost 7 playoff games, and they scored…19 runs in those 7 games. And honestly, that was the first team I checked, and that’s a similarly high powered offense. Very few teams score a lot of runs in their losses, if they did those games would be wins.

      • well you know

        You’re probably aware that the Rangers just lost a WS in which they lost games by margins of 10-9 and 16-7. More runs in two losses than the Yankees scored in all seven of their losses over the last two postseasons.

        The Rangers also scored enough to win a lot more games than the Yankees over the last two postseasons. That puts their overall offensive performance in a different context. Of course, no one would care how many runs the Yanks were scoring in their losses if they were winning their series.

  • MannyGeee

    Cashmans biggest mistake?

    Too much vermouth:

    Honestly, it’s a trick question. Who’s to say how many of his moves were “heavily influenced” by non-baseball people, and how many times he had to fight to keep Cano from being traded for Derek Lowe or Wandy Rodriguez…

    A GM in a large market team with overly ‘influential’ owners is a crap shoot. For every great Abreu move that he may or may orchestrate, there is a Javy trade that he may be pressured into making by the ownership tandem.

    Just saying

  • Avi

    Yanks picked up swisher’s option

  • Tom Zig

    ESPN predicts next 25 World Series.

    2023: Los Angeles Angels of Santa Anaheim and South Orange County, including but not limited to Laguna Beach, Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      I like how the cubs lose 5 world series in a row.

  • duzzi23

    His pitching decisions are far and wide his biggest failures. We got nothing for the almost 50 mill we payed for Igawa. Jaret Wright Kevin Brown and Jeff Weaver were absolute disasters. I will give him a pass on Pavano because everyone wanted him and he pitched great in the world series and the first Javier Vazquez trade because he was a young stud at that time. The second Javier Vazquez trade was ego driven because he never wanted to trade Vazquez in the Randy Johnson deal. We saw that movie before n the sequel was just as bad. Plus Melky was a useful player n Vizcaino is now one of the better pitching prospects in the league. The whole handling of Joba from when he was brought up was atrocious and still makes me so angry. Last but not least the Tigers, Rangers, and Cardinals all made big moves to help their clubs and cashman did absolutely nothing. I don’t know why so many on this blog think Cashman is so great. He is average at best considering his vast resources.

  • Darren

    Not re-signing Bernie. We really could have used him with all the injuries that year but Cashman was too much of a dick to listen to Torre.

    And getting Randy Johnson was just an awful, awful move. Thanks for making me relive 95 and 01 for no reason.

    • Plank

      Bernie was awful the last few years. He was invited to spring training in 2007 and Torre basically said publicly that if he came, he would make the team, but Bernie wanted a major league contract before he showed up which takes a lot of balls considering his prior season.

      His mistake in that situation was signing him for 2006 and offering him an NRI for 2007.

    • MannyGeee

      Again… Randy Johnson was a King George Special. he had an erection for the Unit for YEARSSSS before we got the shell that was left over.

  • Dale Mohorcic

    108 days till pitchers and catchers report.

  • Rainbow Connection

    Cashman’s biggest failure? His inability to fix that lazy eye. Dude’s got money. Get it fixed, yo.

  • CMP

    His biggest failure is his inability to get a legitimate number 2 starter behind CC the last 2 years. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen for a 3rd straight year.

    • The Big City of Dreams

      What move would you like to see him make: CJ, Yu, or trade for a starter?

      • CMP

        Yu. Most upside, youngest and will only cost money not draft picks. I’d also explore trade market for because they really need 2 starters behind CC and Nova with Hughes , Burnett and Noesi fighting it out for the 5th spot.

        • caldr62np

          Everyone wants Yu, including me, but that is a second guess move if I’ve ever seen one. If Yu doesn’t work out, 80% of the people who say they want him will “forget” and call for Cashman’s head. Sometimes you make the right move and it doesn’t work out.

          Look at the seasons Pavano, Vazquez, Kevin Brown and RJ had before they were brought here (whether those were Cashman’s moves or not). All were good moves that didn’t work out. The only questionable one was Brown because of the injury history.

          Love these hindsight GMs.

          • CMP

            I’d rather sign Darvish and have him end up being a mediocre waste of money like Burnett than not sign him and have him potentially end up a Blue Jay, Red Sox or Ranger and pitch like an ace. I’d be much more upset over a move like Javy where they gave up a young potential ace instead of just money.

            Every move a GM makes is a 2nd guess move because ultimately they’re judged by how the player performs, not by the logic involved in the acquisition.

            Being 2nd guessed it part of the job.

  • Billion$Bullpen

    JEFF WEAVER. And super duper ROFL at “not resigning Bernie”, wow to whoever said that.

    Jeff Weaver was a move that really set us back. Also backing Torre, when Torre should have been gone for some time to me was a bad move by Cash, and he was repayed by being back stabbed by Torre in that book. Other things I will say were his fault but I am not sure as I am not privy to all the interworkings but the Igawa deal, Javy V (the second time), giving Mussina and Jorge too many years on their last deals (that might be a nit pick). The good far outweighs the bad and I am not the biggest Cash Money fan but he is good at his job.

  • Jim Cavanaugh

    Signing Russel Martin in a year when Mike Napoli was traded multiple times.